In the differentiated guided writing classroom students write about things that interest them for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students talk to each other about what they are going to write, what the are writing and what they have written. Based on ongoing assessment the teacher meets the needs of the students during whole group and small group lesson
A differentiated guided writing classroom begins with a writing warm up. Students write in their notebooks on a topic of choice. Occasionally teachers might want to give a prompt. Students should keep writing the whole 5-10 minutes. This helps get the ideas flowing. The teacher then teaches a whole group mini lesson on an aspect of writing depending on the needs of the class. The whole group lesson might be introducing or reviewing procedures or skills, reading literature to demonstrate quality writing techniques or the teacher could model good writing. The bulk of the workshop is spent with the students writing and conferencing with the teacher and with each other. The teacher may conference with single students or a small group of students chosen each day depending on where they are in the writing process. Writing conferences are a time for the teacher to have conversations with students about their writing. The teacher guides the students in ways that encourages them to take on new and challenging strategies. it is not necessary to locate and correct every error a student makes. It is important to give encouragement and guidance as often as possible.
- Listen as the student read their writing.
- Reinforce the writer’s strengths.
- Ask questions to solicit more details.
- Assess the needs of the writer
- Teach one thing that is going to support writing growth without overwhelming the student.
- Help the student set a goal and write it down
- Write notes about what your learned about the student.
The writing workshop ends with students sharing their writing in the whole group, small group or with a partner. Students are encouraged to celebrate their writing through many exciting and different ways to publish and share.
The differentiated classroom is a low stress and joyful environment where students learn and grow according to their needs, abilities and interests. Students are involved in interesting projects, games and many other choice activities. Teachers choose the lessons and activities which will work best to empower all students with challenge, success and joy in learning.